Managing food that should be treats
Treat food are foods high in sugar, fat and salt.
- Cut down on treat foods, but don't ban them. Banning them makes them more appealing.
- Shopping is a danger time – just buy treats sometimes and don’t have a supply at home. If they’re not in the house, they can’t be eaten.
- Keep the sweets cupboard or cookie jar out of sight – and out of mind.
- Tell family and friends you’re making changes so they know about the new routine.
- When you have sugary foods, eat them with a meal. It’s better for their teeth and means they won’t fill up on treats between meals
- Say the kitchen is closed when mealtimes are over, but allow them access to healthy snacks such as fruit, chopped vegetables and water and then send them off to play.
- In the long run, it's kinder to say no – don’t be afraid to say it!
- Praise them and offer non-food treats, like a game of football, a trip to the playground or disco-dancing at home.
- Limit the amount of treats by:
- Getting into the habit of having them every second day or less
- Keeping portions small – choose mini or snack versions
- Offering healthy alternatives, such as water instead of sugary drinks or juice and fruit instead of sweets or chocolate.
- Keep treats exactly that – treats! Not every day and not always food!
How many calories do treat foods contain?
Image from FSAI Healthy Eating Guidelines.